Outdoor Recreation in Winn-Worth Counties

Outdoor Recreation in Winn-Worth Counties Main Photo

29 Jun 2022


Winnebago and Worth Counties are home to some of the most beautiful natural parks carved out by glaciers thousands of years ago, defining the prairie pothole region, an area dotted with rare Oak Savannas. The county's regional parks provide public access to county land for camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and more. There are RV and camping sites along with cabins, barbeque pits, and canoes that are available for rent.

With the ever-changing seasons, the Winn-Worth Betco area is ideal for outdoor activities such as canoeing along the Winnebago River, horseback riding through the trails of Pilot Knob State Park, or exploring the wondrous oak savannas that are one of the rarest plant communities on earth. In warmer months visit county parks to take a hike among the fragrant wildflowers of the native Iowa tallgrass prairies,  or soak up the sun with a round of golf on North Iowa’s lush golf courses. In the Winter,  check out Hanson Trail’s invigorating cross-country skiing, and Worth County’s Snowmobile Trail! In the Winn-Worth region, you’ll find opportunities for every outdoor enthusiast just waiting to be discovered.

The natural beauty of Worth County

Worth County Conservation is home to Silver Lake Park and Panicum Prairie. The organization manages 28 parks, natural areas, prairies, memorial sites, and rest areas, encompassing over 3,190 acres throughout the county! Worth County has two campgrounds, three day-use parks, three ponds or lakes for fishing, as well as the Shellrock River, and numerous hunting opportunities. 

Visitors can experience the county’s beauty through a number of parks. Deer Creek Wildlife Management Area consists of 515 acres of excellent spaces for deer and turkey hunting. Some small game hunting is also done in some of the thicker willows and scrub brush; this area also has tremendous spring wildflower viewing opportunities.  

Ochyee Yahola Park has camping, hiking trails, and equestrian trails. The park is open for archery hunting and in November, gun hunting. Woodduck Hollow is a 30-acre wildlife area, with a wetland, uplands, and a small amount of timber. The uplands have been seeded to native prairie grasses and forbs; seeding was completed in the fall of 2009.

Outdoor Recreation in Winnebago County

Lisa Ralls, Winnebago County naturalist, works in environmental education. She develops and presents programs and field trips for school kids, community and civic groups, and the public. To further educate people, she also publishes a quarterly newsletter and submits news and informational articles to the local press. In addition, Ralls manages the WCCB’s website and social media platforms. Finally, she also assists with various research surveys and other projects as needed.

Ralls affirms that in Winnebago County, there is a varied assortment of outdoor areas that provide a wide variety of recreational opportunities. The Winnebago County Conservation Board manages over 30 recreational and wildlife areas throughout the county. These provide county residents, as well as visitors, the chance to hunt, fish, trap, hike, and geocache, among other things. The Board manages two campgrounds at Thorpe Park and Dahle Park, as well as the Hogsback Target Shooting Range and the Florence Trap Shooting Range. Of course, there’s also the Winnebago River Water Trail, providing people with a chance to leisurely paddle through the county.

Discover the natural beauty of the Winnebago and Worth Counties, a gorgeous Midwestern wilderness located in North-Central Iowa along the Minnesota border, just a short drive south of Minneapolis or north of Des Moines, on I-35. Nature enthusiasts flock to the stunning rolling hills of this prairie pothole region where the beautiful Winnebago River flows through quaint small towns like Fertile and Forest City, situated amid dense trees and woodlands.

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